"The Informers" is a lifeless look at 1980s L.A.
"The Informers" — based on a Bret Easton Ellis book and starring Billy Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke — is nothing but a series of blond, chiseled, deadpan people standing around pouting, or having extremely disaffected sex, or committing terrible crimes and not reacting to them.
Seattle Times movie critic
"The Informers," with Billy Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger, Mickey Rourke, Winona Ryder, Jon Foster, Amber Heard, Brad Renfro, Chris Isaak. Directed by Gregor Jordan, from a screenplay by Bret Easton Ellis and Nicholas Jarecki, based on the novel by Ellis. 98 minutes. Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, drug use, pervasive language and some disturbing images. Several theaters.
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You'd think that Don't Cut the Vampire would be the first thing they teach in filmmaking school. Nonetheless, Gregor Jordan's lifeless '80s ensemble drama "The Informers," based on Bret Easton Ellis' novel (really a series of interlocking short stories), is lacking the book's most interesting character: a bloodthirsty vampire/club kid named Jamie. Ellis said in an interview that the character was present in early drafts (and Brandon Routh was cast in the role), but it was later decided to cut him for budget and other reasons.
Well, OK. But that leaves "The Informers" with nothing but a series of blond, chiseled, deadpan people standing around pouting, or having extremely disaffected sex, or committing terrible crimes and not reacting to them. A vampire, surely, would have livened things up. It's all set in Los Angeles in 1983, where everyone apparently was extremely attractive and indifferent, and was kept busy consuming an unlimited supply of drugs and having the aforementioned disaffected sex.
The only enjoyment to be had here is the meticulous re-creation of 1983 fashion, right down to the pushed-up sleeves on the men's pink blazers (worn with white T-shirts). Otherwise, even Billy Bob Thornton, playing a morose Hollywood executive with a messed-up marriage, can't perk up this mess. Ellis' book, though a grim read, had a satirical edge to it that made it darkly enjoyable; the movie is simply dark and dull. And vampireless, more's the pity.
Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725
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